Up to 200 tennis players from the region are slated to return to Taos for the weekend to participate in the Taos Open – one of the state’s largest adult tennis tournaments – at Quail Ridge Taos July 7-9.
According to Taos Open organizer Kurt Edelbrock, last year’s tournament saw a total of 176 matches that included men’s and women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles brackets over the course of the three-day event. In addition to the various age divisions, there were United States Tennis Association (USTA) player levels that matched abilities and created equally skilled matches throughout the tournament.
“There is a great deal of parity [in] our tournaments,” said Edelbrock. “As a tournament director, you want to see three set matches because it makes it more exciting.”
Edelbrock said, “This is the joy of the NTRP system.” He was referring to the National Tennis Rating Program, which places an athlete into a level of play that best suits their abilities and skills. In this way, participants receive the most enjoyment by going against other players of similar level.
The Taos Open has five NTRP-level brackets, ranging from 3.0 to 5.0. Generally, a player’s rank changes with competitive ability or is based on match results. World-class tennis players fall into the 7.0 NTRP level.
Notable finishes by local players in 2016 included 3.5 men’s doubles winners Bob Clawson and Bernie Linnartz, of Taos, who defeated Tyler Andrews and Carlo Montour, of Denver, Colorado, 6-4, 3-6 (10-6). On the women’s side, in the 4.5 doubles finals, Carol Lang and Wendy Whiteman defeated Andy Crosby and Amanda Briggs 2-6, 6-2 (12-10).
Though there was good representation from the local players, the majority of players came from outside of Taos.
“The Taos Open keeps the players coming back year after year,” said Edelbrock, who also coaches the Taos Tigers and Lady Tigers tennis teams. “More than 50 percent of last year’s participants signed up for this year.”
Taos Tennis at Quail Ridge is a nationally recognized tennis resort. It is home to 10 tennis and four pickleball courts that have been owned and operated by Edelbrock for more than 10 years. The tennis resort is located at 88 Ski Valley Road in El Prado.